• September 16, 2015


The Celtic League has asked the Chief Secretary to clarify recent figures released for the costs associated with running Government House. The current figure is still a staggering £450,000. The League has also sought clarification as to how savings of £200,000 over five years were achieved.

The League, along with Manx Nationalist Party Mec Vannin, believes the Office of Lt Governor should be abolished and Government House vacated (see links).

Bizarrely however although the Isle of Man calls itself a ‘country’ and has a ‘Chief Minister’ it seems the current Tynwald is content to subordinate itself to an overseer from the United Kingdom. The Manx government makes a great play of the Lt Governor having been ‘stripped of most of his powers’. However the first (and only time to date) a Chief Minister was sacked it was the Lt Governor who ‘slipped the political knife between his shoulder blades’!

League DOI Bernard Moffatt suggests if the Manx Government ‘insist’ on retaining the position perhaps the incumbent could downsize to more modest premises! The suggestion is in line with a resolution at this year’s Mec Vannin AGM which called for

“The present incumbent, whilst the link with the Crown remains, to be re-housed at the expense of the Crown in premises that they choose to acquire for him/her.”

The letter to the Chief Secretary is set out below:

“Mr Will Greenhow,
Chief Secretary
Isle of Man Government
Government Buildings
Prospect Hill

16th September 2015

Dear Mr Greenhow,

I refer you to the attached link to a story on Isle of Man today concerning overall costs for running Government House:


The figure quoted is just under £450,000 which although still a staggeringly high figure in these austere times is said to have fallen by a third. Is their any explanation as to how this level of saving has been achieved and additionally has any attempt been made to establish why previously expenses appear to have been so profligate?

I’m aware that in the past much ground maintenance and general maintenance at Government House was undertaken by the DOT (now Department of Infrastructure). Can you advise if ‘all costs’ connected with Government House have been included in the figures released?

Finally, given that Government has in recent years been trying to rationalize and realize the value of its properties while the Island still has a Lt. Governor has any thought been given to downsizing his residence? You will be aware there is precedence for this in that some years ago the Church Authorities sold the extensive Bishops Court residence and the (then) Lord Bishop moved to the more modest and cost efficient Bishops House.

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”




Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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